Schools don't generally offer programs in consumer direct response marketing, but many four-year colleges and universities offer online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees that allow students to select a specialization. Those focused primarily on consumer direct response marketing may not be available, but the curriculum in a MBA program likely has some coursework covering the subject -- especially if a student chooses to specialize in marketing.
These programs are offered both fully online and in a blended format. Students may be required to complete internships or some on-campus residencies to graduate from the programs. To be admitted, applicants will need a relevant bachelor's degree as well as some work experience.
Since online MBAs mostly target business professionals, prospective students often must have a minimum number of years of relevant work experience, along with a bachelor's degree, to be eligible for program admission. Once admitted, students can usually complete an online MBA degree program in two years, although students with extensive relevant undergraduate work may finish faster. Many times a student can earn this graduate degree totally online, although some programs may require or provide the option to complete internships and on-campus residencies.
Students enrolled in online MBA degrees take classes in accounting, finance and marketing, where they can learn all aspects of business operations, including consumer direct response marketing. Online MBA programs stress analytical and problem-solving skills as well as communication skills. Students may need to complete a capstone project or internship toward the end of the program, ideally matched to student's area of interest, like consumer direct response marketing. Distance learners who choose a marketing specialization may study additional subjects such as:
- Marketing strategies
- Consumer behavior
- Marketing communications
- Market research
- International marketing
Some schools conduct online MBA programs in cohort format, where all students who enroll at the same time move through the program together. For example, they may all take a course in consumer direct response marketing at the same time. They can engage with each other and their instructors using discussion boards, chat rooms and Web conferencing, all of which may be accessible through a virtual classroom.
Online course management systems house class materials, including lectures, videos and assignments, that distance learning students can access at a time convenient for them -- provided they meet assigned due dates. Schools may require students to take exams at an approved proctored setting in their area.
Career Information for Graduates
Students who have graduated from online MBA programs and who have an interest in consumer direct response marketing can pursue careers like:
- Direct marketing copywriters
- Marketing managers
- Consumer marketing specialists
- Direct marketing analysts
Job prospects for marketing professionals look promising. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment is projected to grow 9% for marketing managers and 19% for market research analysts in the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). BLS data from 2015 reveals that the average salary for market research analysts and marketing specialists was $70,030; managers earned $140,660 on average. These figures vary based on the professional's location, employer and experience and education levels.
Consumer direct response marketing can be studied online through an MBA program in marketing, which is targeted at students who already have work experience in the field. In addition to taking standard business courses like financing and accounting, students in a marketing specialization will also likely take courses like consumer behavior and marketing research.